You don’t have to go to the gym to tone up – try this 10 minute mini workout anytime, anywhere!
Looking to tone up your tum? Pilates expert, Amit Younger, has got the ultimate 10 minute tummy trimmers for you. ‘Pilates is a great way to tone your abdominal muscles because it teaches you how to use them in an effective and functional way,’ he says. ‘These three exercises target all four layers of abdominals – do them regularly (at least three to four times a week) and you’ll soon find yourself unconsciously engaging your stomach muscles throughout the day.’
Your 10 minute workout:
1. Half roll down
Sit up with your knees bent, your feet on the floor and your hands holding the back of your thighs just above your knees. Round your back and pull your abdominal muscles in deeply. Exhale to squeeze your buttocks together, curl your tailbone in and roll back until your arms are nearly straight. Inhale to pause, exhale to pull your abdominals in deeply and curl forward to the start position, with the crown of your head coming towards your knees. Repeat five times.
Tip: Keep your back round and pull your abdominals in at all times.
Advanced: Roll back until you rest your head on the floor. Inhale to lift your head and exhale to curl back up as before.
2. Oblique curl up
Lie on your back with your legs bent, your feet on the floor and your hands behind your head. Keep your right foot on the floor and lift your left leg towards your chest. Squeeze your buttocks together, curl your tailbone in and pull your lower abdominal muscles in deeply. Exhale to curl up on a diagonal towards the left leg. Inhale to return to the floor with control. Repeat five times on each side.
Tip: Pull your lower abdominal muscles in deeply and keep your raised leg stable at all times.
Advanced: On the fifth repetition, stay up and do five small movements to deepen the oblique curl up.
3. Cat with knees off the ground
Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders, your knees under your hips and your feet flexed. Exhale to squeeze your buttocks together, curl your tailbone in and pull your lower abdominal muscles in deeply while rounding your back. Inhale to hold, then exhale to pull your abdominals in deeply and lift your knees one inch off the ground towards your core. Inhale to return to the start position. Repeat five times.
Tip: As you round your spine, bring your tailbone and the crown of your head towards each other and pull your abdominal muscles in as deeply as possible.
Advanced: Hold your knees off the ground for an additional breath.
These exercises are suitable for all levels, but if you have any doubts about your fitness, consult your GP first. If you experience any pain stop straight away.
Pilates on demand (pilatesod.com), do-it-anywhere classes and tuition can be accessed on your smartphone or tablet.